PODCAST: What if Authentic Storytelling is Not Optional?

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

This podcast discusses how consumers go online to research information and check out organizations. People expect websites to be updates and social media profiles to be relevant. What if authentic storytelling by organizations, businesses and others is not optional? What if it’s like a business card? You have to have it to connect with people.

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Christoph Trappe here with The Authentic Storytelling Project and I want to talk about how content online and let’s call content what it really is, our stories.

Our stories online, what if they are not optional anymore. What if they’re like a business card, right? So, if you’re a business person, you have a business, you’re working with people. You’re connecting with new people and you have your business card.

You hand it out to people. Somebody talks to you and says, “Hey. What do you do and how, how does that, how does that might help me, and what do you do?”

You explain it to them, and you give them your business card, right? It’s really not optional anymore. In fact, when I go to a networking event, a lot of times, I hand out quite a few business cards and sometimes it’s to this blog.

Today,people go online and they search for information. The Authentic Storytelling Project is a good example. We have these resource pages and people actually find them through search and there just kind of straight forward pages that explain something. A hashtag, what’s a hashtag? Why would storytellers care about it, all kinds of other things, I think there’s around 30 or 40 now. In just a few months, that we’ve had The Authentic Storytelling Project here, but what if the stories that we share, not the marketing speak, but the stories that we share, what if they’re not optional. They’re not nice to have. They are must haves.

People come to our sites and they can tell if it’s marketing speak or if we are honestly sharing an authentic, truthful real story about what is going on.

That doesn’t mean that we have to publish a lot of negative things, but if something negative happens and at some point somebody will say something negative about just any brand. Then we just respond. We explain our opinion. So, that’s kind of how you can balance that out a little bit, but how do you share stories from your organization that share the successes? We all have them. Everybody has them. Families have them. Nonprofits have them. Businesses have them. Everybody has success stories. So, why don’t we share them and with the people that come to our sites and that look for information?

One of the biggest things that I continue to hear, across many, many, many different sites is that people come to them even when it’s a branded search, right, so, they’re looking for that particular organization and they can find on that site what they’re looking for.

Now, sometimes they are good reasons from the organization’s perspective, why a specific piece of information is not online, but from the audience perspective, they’re usually not accepted reasons, right. They expected to be online.

Whether there’s a good reason or whether you couldn’t get it approved by the right people. The end consumers expect things to be online. Let’s assume 10 years from now, maybe not even that far down the road. People will expect this authenticity online and if they don’t see it, they won’t do business with that particular organization. They’ll figure it out. When we use words, superlatives, when we say this is the best podcast you’ve listened to. You’re probably sitting there thinking “what this is guy talking about? He can’t say that. Somebody else has to say it.”

Once organizations use words that just share the highlights, the facts, the true emotions behind a story that’s authentic, people start trusting. People start connecting. People don’t connect and don’t trust marketing language, right? Yes, it has worked for a long time, and yes, it does work for a percentage of the people, but think about it,

what if it’s just a small percentage that actually does business with us because the rest ignores us. There’s probably room to grow those audiences in a more organic, authentic way.

Think of your content marketing program, your authentic storytelling project, whatever you call it, your
brand journalism initiative. That project where you’re deciding to share stories that share your organization’s successes, that share what you do in a truthful, non-marketing kind of way with emotion, with people. Think about that and let’s say that’s not going to be optional anymore. It’s like your business card. People expect it. Then, think about social media. It ties in with social media.

People go to an organization’s Twitter account and they look at the last three tweets. How do those tweets reflect what you stand for? That goes back to constant updates. Relevant and consistent.

If you constantly update and you’re relevant and you’re consistent with your message, with your story, with what you talk about. People can get a sense of who you are, what you do, even with the last three tweets, even with this one short headline on the website, but it has to be updated. It has to be consistently done. It has to be relevant and it has to be constant. This takes time.

Hope you’ll hop on board. Hope you’ll join The Authentic Storytelling Project. If you have success stories, feel free to send me tweet. Ctrappe on Twitter.

Christoph Trappe/The Authentic Storytelling Project. Thanks for listening.